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2017 Maths Grants

It took a long time to go through the very many inspirational applications for Maths grants. The successful applications were specific about the challenges and needs of their organisations and how funding from the Jo Walters Trust could help them to achieve their goals.

  • Langham School in Essex has £750 to help them bring Maths learning outside the classroom. The recently qualified Outdoor Practitioner has an area next to her classroom where she has put some shades and blackboards, and now she can furnish this with, amongst other things, maths vocabulary wall signs, giant numberlines, dominoes, sand and water trays and an outdoor teaching clock. We look forward to seeing photos of this in action.

  • Castlehill, in Dunbarton, has identified what many teachers find, that mathematically able children, when faced with “wordy” questions, fall apart. They are using their grant of £750 to introduce problem solving cards into their teaching, to replace textbook questions. These sturdy reusable cards pose real-life problems and the full set covers the full primary age-range. Tackling these should give the children the ability to justify their reasoning and develop a robust confidence in applying their skills.

  • Hope Primary School in Huyton, Knowlsey is also working outside, to develop a love of maths and seeing the practical use of maths in everyday life. They are receiving £700 to build “The Maths Station” with activities that the children can choose to take part in during their lunch and break times. The plan is that a specialist subject teacher will train those children who lack mathematical confidence, so they become familiar and confident with the activities available. They can then become maths play leaders, taking responsibility for the Maths Station and becoming role models by teaching others how to use and enjoy it.

  • Lowdham CofE Primary School, Nottingham, is going to use £500 to kick-start a “fruit shop stall” and encourage some young business minds in a Primary School. Canvassing their market, costing, budgeting and calculating mark-ups is going help them develop a range of mathematical skills. Their head teacher has done this before and is keen to share the experience.

  • Brackensdale Enhanced Resource Junior School is an inclusive school with special provision to support children with autism and attachment disorder; 52% of their children have special educational needs. £450 will help them buy equipment for practical, sensory and real-life maths activities. This will include buckets and measuring jugs to teach problem solving through water play, place value counters to explore numbers in a hands-on and visual way, and outdoor problem-solving signs.

  • Kirkton of Largo Primary School, Fife are planning another ‘outdoor maths shed’ to promote mathematical outdoor learning. £640 will help furnish a shed with blackboard sides and to kit it out internally with baskets filled with a range of rustic math discs, sticks and stones, problem cards, wooden numerals, measuring equipment as well as bunting and number border rolls.

2017 Maths Grant - Hope Primary

We received the follwong thank you from Roisin Dean of Hope Prmary School

We have ordered the stock for our outdoor learning project from 3 places - Amazon, Cosy educational catalogue and YPO educational catalogue.

We are awaiting some of the equipment to arrive so have yet to set up the maths station fully. I have attached some images of the children making use of some of the equipment, they are thrilled to have it and it is lovely to hear them using mathematical language naturally as they 'play'.

The maths station play leaders are enjoying their role and it is nice to see their confidence in maths growing as a result of this.

Thank you very much for making this possible. We are only in the first stages of setting this up so I will send another update when it is fully up and running and of course you and anyone form the Jo Walters Trust are welcome to come and see the station in use, if ever you happen to be visiting the North West.



2017 Maths Grant - Kirkton of Largo Primary

We received the following report from the head teacher of Kirkton of Largo Primary School in Fife

Kirkton of Largo took delivery of our Maths Shed and contents in December after a delay with the supplying company. As it was a busy time in school at Christmas and the weather was very poor, we did not set it up until we came back to school this week.

There was great excitement, organising the shed and talking about how we could use the resources at different stages in the school. We spent time doing active maths outdoors and although it was cold, it didn't hamper the learning one bit, in fact, the children were very alert, motivated and enthusiastic.

We would like to thank the Jo Walters Trust for selecting us to have this excellent resource which will be enjoyed by our children now and for years to come. 

We will be happy to write more about this in the weeks to come but in the meantime here are some quotes from our pupils.
'We don't need to run in and out to get maths things - everything is where we need it.'
'It's great to get outside to do maths rather than being inside.'
'Maths in the playground is great. It encourages us to see maths in the real world.'
'I think the Maths Shed is really cool because all the things in it are all things to help us with maths. I love the flags and wooden log platforms and stones with numbers on it. The sticks are fantastic for measuring.'



2017 Maths Grant to Brackensdale Junior School

We received the following report from Laura Johnson of Brakensdale Junior School:


My school includes an Enhanced Resource facility for children with Autism and a high percentage (52%) of children with SEND. Our curriculum is designed to be as practical and meaningful as possible, as we have found that our children learn best when they are engaged in hands-on activities that link their learning with the real world. We decided, therefore, to apply for a grant which would allow us to purchase some new resources that could be used practically across a wide range of learning areas in maths. We had a particular focus on bringing more maths into our outdoor area, and so we purchased some Maths Challenge signs which our Site Manager placed all around school.

The first morning that the children saw the signs they were very excited and enjoyed running between the signs trying out all the new challenges. Without realising, they were applying their knowledge of number, measurement, multiplication and division and many other areas, and playing cooperatively with their friends at the same time. They were also eager to go back to them the next play time, which meant their attitudes towards maths are also becoming more positive. Another resource which we purchased with the grant was a class set of Base Ten. This allows the children to explore the concepts of place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using concrete apparatus to demonstrate their ideas.

Through the use of this equipment, some of our learners who struggle with verbal communication have been able to demonstrate high levels of mathematical reasoning and problem solving by being asked to ‘prove’ their answers through the use of this equipment. We are very much looking forward to using more of the resources bought to carry out more practical maths activities. We are planning a problem solving and reasoning task where the children will need to use jugs that measure 3 or 4 spacilitres (alien unit of capacity) to make different capacities. They will be using the jugs and beakers to collect the correct capacities, and will need to apply their knowledge of addition and subtraction, as well as teamwork skills, to solve the task. Overall the resources are an excellent addition to our school and have already led to increased enjoyment, participation and problem solving and reasoning skills, and we are very much looking forward to seeing the impact they will continue to have throughout the school year.


2017 Aberdeenshire Grants

In 2017, the Jo Walters Trust again welcomed applications to fund projects which provide education in the outdoors in Aberdeenshire. We received a huge number of really exciting applications and, in order to try to bring as many of these to fruition as possible, decided to increase the total budget from £6,000 to £9,200, meaning there were 5 recipients rather than 3. These were:
  • Banchory-Devenick Primary School: £1,800 to spend on equipment to equip their forest school  They will use it to purchase a tarpaulin and tools, such as loppers, secateurs, whittling tools and bowsaws, as well as firelighting equipment, a fire safety blanket and cooking equipment. 
  • Aberdeenshire Sailing Trust SC043046: £2,270 to fund the purchase of a new safety boat. This will enable them to offer sailing at Knockburn Loch throughout the sailing season as currently they can only offer sailing there from July - October as their only rescue boat is needed at Loch of Skene from April - end of June. With this grant they will be able to offer sailing to local primary schools in the form of activities days or after school clubs, as well as activities for groups such as brownies & cubs in the Summer term.   They will also set up a new disability sailing night.
  • Aboyne Academy Climbing Club: £1,160 which will be spent on new climbing equipment in order to make activities more accessible to a range of physical abilities. Their goal is to extend their ability to use outdoor crags as well as the indoor wall for a greater range of activities including rock climbing and abseiling. They plan to add larger accessible climbing holds to their older wall to facilitate a greater range of users.
  • 1st Fraserburgh Scout Group: £1,970. This will allow them to buy camping equipment so that they can develop their nascent Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme, allowing more of the scouts to take part. As well as the camping equipment it will enable a member of staff to complete their Mountain Leader assessment which is a requirement for to offer the Gold Duke of Edinburgh's award. 
  • Peterhead Sea Cadets (SC023599): £2,000. This money will be a significant portion of the money required to buy the sea cadets a box trailer. They need the trailer to store all the kit required to take children out on the water, as last year their previous store was broken into and equipment was stolen. Storing it in a trailer is both more secure, and also will allow them the flexibility to transport equipment for other unit activities including the unit's annual summer camp, D of E expedition training, fundraising activities and training days for the cadets.
All the groups have undertaken to provide us with updates as the projects get underway so we hope to be able to share news of these soon.

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